Update 25 August 2020
The Victorian Government has announced that the ban on evictions and rental increases will be extended until 31 December 2020 – noting however that this has not yet been passed by parliament.
The Government has announced its intention to implement measures requiring landlords to provide rent relief in proportion with the fall in turnover being experienced by eligible tenants going forward. Additionally the VSBC may now also have greater capacity to make an order on rent relief if a landlord refuses to respond to rent relief requests. Further, for this extended period, you cannot be issued with a Notice to Vacate or evicted if you are behind in rent due to COVID-19.
No doubt many of you have seen that Westfield is locking out retailers who have not paid rent – specifically 129 Mosaic stores including Millers, Rockmans, Noni B, Rivers, Katies, Autograph, W.Lane and Crossroads. Mosaic have either refused to pay rent or paid a reduced level of rent to their landlords during the period, making statements that proprietors should share the economic burdens of COVID-19.
While it is possible that Westfield are just making an example of this one large retailer, it could spur similar moves from other major landlords. It is important to remember that whilst negotiating under the mandatory code, that retailers should continue to pay some rent to the extent that they can.
We note that the legislation governing the mandatory code will expire next month. Please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance in securing your rent reduction at or give us a call on 1300 033 934.